Political Buzz

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Archives: Oct. 2010

Oct.
30th

AG suit vs. Moxie Media is the latest in a string

Attorney General Rob McKenna’s staff wasted no time in filing legal action Friday against Lisa MacLean and her Democrat- and labor-allied consulting firm Moxie Media. At issue is its alleged illegal handling of campaign funds used to tilt the outcome of a state Senate race so that conservative Democratic Sen. Jean Berkey was ousted in the primary.

Oct.
29th

Republican hopefuls blast Moxie Media hit pieces

In echoes of Democrats’ outcry in federal races across the country, Republican candidates for the Legislature are complaining about secretive spending on hit pieces.

The Republicans are seizing on an investigation of the mailers attacking state Sen. Jean Berkey, D-Everett, that were sent out by a political consultant working for unions and liberal interest groups. Attorney General Rob McKenna today sued consultant Lisa MacLean over alleged violations of campaign laws in the Berkey case.

MacLean’s consulting firm, Moxie Media, is also responsible for mailers targeting Republican candidates in legislative races in the South Sound’s 28th, 2nd, 30th and 47th districts.

Candidates in those races blasted Moxie for creating a spiderweb of more than 40 PACs that make the money harder to trace.

Ads by independent political action committees are required to identify the PAC’s top five contributors. Moxie gets around those rules by setting up two PACs in each race. The PAC that receives the money then gives it to the other PAC, which can pay for a mailer without reporting any contributors except that of its twin.

Moxie’s not the only one shuffling money around. And it’s legal, as long as the real donors are disclosed to the Public Disclosure Commission so diligent voters can go to the PDC website to follow the money. That didn’t happen in the Berkey case.

Kevin Carns, director of the House Republican Organizational Committee, said he’s sure more violations will be found in some of that accounting.

“They’re spending dirty money against Jean Berkey,” Carns said. “If they’re willing to do that against one of their own, I’m pretty sure they’re willing to break the law against a Republican.”

Read more »

Oct.
29th

Attorney General Rob McKenna files suit against Moxie Media and Lisa MacLean

Attorney General Rob McKenna today filed suit in Thurston County against Moxie Media and its principal Lisa MacLean for mulitple violations of state campaign finance law.

The suit stems from a decision by the state Public Disclosure Commission to reject a staff-negotiated settlement with MacLean and ask McKenna to pursue civil litigation. The PDC has only limited capacity to fine those who violate the disclosure law and larger fines must be pursued in Superior Court.

The complaint alleges that MacLean failed to properly report the creation of political committees and the source of money to those committees in an independent expenditure campaign in Everett last summer. The campaign promoted a conservative candidate in order to take votes away from incumbent Democrat Jean Berkey and help a more-liberal Democrat Nick Harper. The funders of the effort – state trial lawyers, the Washington State Labor Council and the Washington Federation of State Employees – favored Harper because they deemed Berkey not liberal enough.

McKenna is a Republican. Two of the three PDC commissioners who voted to turn the case over to him are Democrats – Jane Noland and Jennifer Joly.

Here’s a pdf of the
complaint.

Here’s the press statement from McKenna: Read more »

Oct.
29th

New poll: Washington Senate race ‘could go either way’

WASHINGTON – The Washington state Senate race is going down to the wire, with a McClatchy-Marist poll released Friday showing incumbent Democratic Sen. Patty Murray maintaining a 1 percentage point lead over Republican challenger Dino Rossi among likely voters.

Murray was ahead 49-48 in the poll taken Tuesday through Thursday, a difference within the poll’s margin of error.

“The bottom line is this is a race that could go either way,” said Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., which conducted the survey.

A McClatchy-Marist poll two weeks ago also showed Murray with a 1 percentage point lead – an edge she’s maintained even as independent groups have flooded Washington state with nearly $18.3 million in advertising.
Read more »

Oct.
29th

New Washington Poll shows slight lead for Patty Murray over Dino Rossi, little voter appetite for taxes

A new Washington Poll released today indicates a tighter U.S. Senate race than the same poll found just two weeks ago.

In a survey of survey of 1,000 registered voters, Patty Murray was the certain choice of 46 percent while Dino Rossi was favored by 42 percent. After the pollsters asked whether their votes could change and to which candidate they were leaning, the total rose to 49 percent Murray and 45 percent Rossi.

The results are a combination of the sentiments of 500 voters polled between Oct. 5 and Oct. 15 and another 500 voters polled between Oct. 18

Read more »

Oct.
29th

What Dino Rossi didn’t hear when he visited Sumner company

This may be a sign of why the stimulus is unpopular.

Even a business that saved money because of the federal stimulus bill views it negatively, and denies it benefited from the bill.

SEFNCO Communications CEO Scott Nall invited Washington’s U.S. Senate candidates to tour his construction company’s new Sumner headquarters, which it bought this year with help from a loan backed by the federal government. Republican Dino Rossi took him up on it, visiting Tuesday as part of a campaign swing through Pierce County.

The stimulus subsidized fees on loans that otherwise would be paid by companies like

Read more »

Oct.
29th

538′s Nate Silver: Washington state is the new Florida

By that the political statistician means it is the state that is most likely to provide the tipping point for either Democrats or Republicans winning the U.S. Senate next week.

Nate Silver created the influential website fivethirtyeight.com which provides analysis of politics via analysis of political polls. He has now taken the site to the New York Times and this article can be found here.

Which states are most likely to make the difference between Republicans controlling the Senate by exactly one seat, and falling exactly one seat short of doing so?

Unless there is significant movement in another

Read more »

Oct.
28th

DSHS, union strike deal for additional furloughs

The Department of Social and Health Services moved closer to agreements today [Thursday] that could expand unpaid furloughs to all of the agency’s employees. This would include the 60 percent of workers that were exempt from 10-day furloughs that the Legislature already ordered.